Monthly Recap: April-June

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I’ve decided that it’s time I do a monthly (rather, in this case, 3-month) recap.

No, I don’t mean a book recap detailing what I read and what I look forward to reading in the future. This monthly recap is about what did and loved these past few weeks- anything I’d like to say out of my regular reviews.

Why?

This is partly for my own benefit, keeping track of what happens during the times I post, but also, I love to know the person behind a blog. If a blog doesn’t have an about page, I’m simply not going to read it. Sometimes the content is absolutely amazing, but in most cases, I just don’t feel connected to the blogger at all. This is post is my first monthly (3-month) recap, and I hope you enjoy the post!


Where was I for the past 3 months?

Well, my hiatus reasons are the usual for other teen bloggers: School, school, and more school. Since it’s summer now the likelihood of another hiatus is unlikely, and I really wanted to focus on school especially for the last three months (graduation awards).

Believe me, I tried to write this post before. Many times. Sooooo many times I was going to put up a new post, but I wanted to get a blog design I really wanted before posting.

Now that I’m back, I’m bound to be posting regularly, so here’s what I have in mind:

  • My blog will mainly have book reviews.
  • Monthly Recaps
  • Monthly TBR
  • Memes? (Possibility)
  • I’m an avid reader of FanFiction, and I’m thinking to create a post soon on my favourite ones. This will be routinely, though not as often (maybe every few months).
  • Once in a while, I’m thinking to do a post where I combine two (or more) fandoms- for example, I’d sort characters from Air Awakens into Hogwarts houses
  • I’m a huge Potterhead and LotR fan. There’s a high chance I’ll write a random post about anything related.
  • Any other amazing news that I feel the sudden urge to scream about

Blog Design

This section of the post is what I meant to be saying for ages. I’ve made so many major changes ever since I started blogging (October 2015) and I’d like to keep track:

  • Captain Constellations: I just started blogging and had no idea about templates back then, so all I did was change the CSS. It honestly didn’t look terrible.
  • These Bookish Ramblings: First time I used a downloaded template. I used this blog for a while (maybe two months at most?) but the design just didn’t…stick with me. I also had a bunch of problems with the template, but that’s too much to go into now. The link is still up, and here’s a screenshot below:Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 11.22.14 AM
  • Readerly Riot: Light orange watercolour flowers against a blue background, watercolour woodland animals. Title in a circle framed by antlers. I still have the links on Imgur, so here‘s the background, and here‘s the header / woodland animals.
  • Alice In Bookland: Simple format showing all posts. Light blue seamless header background. This one didn’t last very long before I killed it and made the next.
  • YA Twisting Titles: Horrible name, I know. This one had the same template as Readerly Riot and same watercolour flower background, but the header was different. I wanted something bolder than Readerly Riot, so I put brighter text and a flower deer skull instead. I have the link to the image for this too, so this is the header.
  • Briar Bound: I don’t think as many people saw Briar Bound, because every time I made a new design I made sure I put up a post as well. However, I posted on YA Twisting Titles and then created Briar Bound- but never posted on it. I was somewhat content with the name and look of Briar Bound, but this was at the point I decided to switch to WordPress and the site was no longer continued.
    My background for Briar Bound had link pink roses against solid light blue, and the title encased by a white laurel wreath. The link for the downloadable laurel wreaths are here, and my site (still up!) is here.Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 9.48.15 AM.png
  • Literary Limelight: My first wordpress site, with a bright lime green ombre background. It was absolutely disgusting.
  • Juniper Reads: Current! I chose the name ‘Juniper Reads’…because…I guess I just liked the word ‘juniper’? (Like Juniper the Dryad from the PJO series.) The name just stuck with me one day so I decided to use it, and I was utterly amazed it wasn’t taken already. The profile picture is by Victoria Ying (her artwork is amazing!), and I chose the background colours based off the Essie Summer 2015 Collection:essie.jpg

Why WordPress?

At first, I used Blogger because I wasn’t sure if I’d be committed. I thought maybe this would be a side project that I’d come back to once a month and just forget about it. Blogger is also really flexible, since you can use any template there exists for free online and change all the colours, margins, etc. Everything.

I switched to WordPress for a few reasons. Firstly (not a major point), I thought maybe in the future I’d like to start blogging on my own platform, and the switch would be easier if I already was on WordPress.

The main reason I switched is because formatting in Blogger is incredibly annoying. When I would make a change in format (for example, maybe I wanted to highlight my text blue), every change would reverse as soon as I clicked the ‘Save Post’ button. Also, when I changed something on the page, saved it, and it actually worked, the post would look normal on the preview. However, when I went on the actual blog, everything would look completely different and I had no idea how everything would look when I created a post- I would have to keep making a change, saving it, refreshing the blog, etc. This took so much time that I spent more time formatting a post than writing one. This may not have been a bug but rather a mistake on my part, but either way, it was incredibly tedious.

In Blogger, I also hated having to manually add a box around summaries in HTML. In addition, my first blog designs included a dark coloured background, but by default, all text is highlighted white. I would have to go and change the HTML again. WordPress also has horizontal lines, and I love those too- hence another reason for the Blogger to WordPress change.

Lastly, although most people dislike the fact that you pretty much can’t change anything in the WordPress free version, I actually like the fact. In Blogger, as I mentioned earlier, I always changed my blog look. Of course, it soon grew tiresome, but with WordPress, all I have to do is change the background and profile picture. Poof! I’m all done. Although you can’t change the title text colour, links, etc., you just have to work your way around it- I made the colour theme of my blog include all the default colours. WordPress also has a very clean and simple look.


Now onto the real part of my monthly recap…

It’s been three months, so naturally, I have a lot to say:

The reason why I was unable to post during April-May was for band (I’m a clarinet player). We had a bunch of after-school practices to prepare for MusicFest Nationals in Ottawa.
23299512June 9 was my birthday and now I’m fourteen! One of my friends somehow managed to get me an ARC (my first ARC) of This Savage Song and I was delighted beyond words. Victoria Schwab has been one of my favourite authors of all time and the fact that my friend was able to get me an advanced copy? I just died right then and there.

I also finally got Rebel of the SandsDaughter of Smoke and BoneThe Fire WishRed Rising, The Ashes of London, Me Before You, Truthwitch, and A Court of Thorns and Roses! Reviews to come soon 🙂

Current Projects: I have a horrible pencil writing grip. I’m trying to fix that, but at the same time, it’s a slow process:

Awkward pencil grip -> Restricted movement -> -903189483 wpm 

This is why I’m trying to learn Gregg Shorthand, a system of writing that lets you write at the speed of dictation (with time and practice, of course).

Story time! I used to try to learn Sindarin and Uruk Runes (Lord of the Rings). The Uruk Runes were quite easy to read (simple characters in place of one English letter) but what I didn’t know was that Tolkien didn’t create those runes himself. He based the runes off Elder Futhark, rune writing used in the 2nd to 8th century. A while later I watched How to Train Your Dragon, saw other books, markings, and images of artefacts with the same runes. So, me being me, instead of thinking, ‘hm, maybe runes are universal’, I thought, ‘they all copied Lord of the Rings!’ Ha, as if. Anyways, I eventually learned how to write in ancient runes and it’s pretty cool.

I recently got a brush pen? It’s pretty bad quality, but does anyone have good links or knowledge as to how to write nicely?

Random:

  • Crystal Crowned is out tomorrow! Online release party on Facebook.
  • I’m volunteering for my local library’s book blog, and I would really appreciate if you could check it out and drop a comment or two:
    https://rhplteenbookreviews.wordpress.com/
  • Zootopia was actually such a great movie- likeable characters, references, and subtly woven in facts about topics such as racism. But my heart will always lie with Tangled.
  • If you know the nonsense poem ‘Jabberwocky’ by Lewis Carroll, then you should see this: http://literarystarbucks.com/post/143636085602/jabbercoffee
  • I tried japanese cheesecake for the first time at Love Me Sweet bakery. Pure amazing.

And that concludes this month’s Monthly Recap! 🙂 Tell me, what did you think about the past while?

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4 thoughts on “Monthly Recap: April-June

  1. Ooooo Japanese cheesecake! That sounds so yummy. I love Japanese food. Also yesssss another Tangled fan. That movie should have gotten a lot more attention than it has. And that’s so cool that you’ve written in sindarin and uruk! I’m a huge LOTR nerd too. Great to find your blog. ^ ^

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Japanese cheesecake is sooooo light and fluffy and airy, you should definitely try it sometime:) Tangled is an incredibly sweet movie- Zootopia was able to weave in other topics, Big Hero 6 was unique, etc., and I never expected to like Tangled since it was so predictable. Turns out I actually loved it though… most novels/movies don’t have innocent, sweet characters but Rapunzel was refreshing. And Celtic music for the kingdom dance scene! Eugene x Rapunzel ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooooo! I must! Where do you usually get it?

        Exactly. It’s one of the reasons I loved Tangled. Yeshhhh Celtic music!

        Like

      • I live in Toronto so I usually get it at Love Me Sweet bakery (I’m not sure if the store is anywhere else) but they have chocolate and coffee flavours and everything… SOOOO good…

        Liked by 1 person

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